25th April 2019
Read: The Southern Frontier, Masterpiece or historical miscalculation (by Joop Westhoff)
Simon Stevin V.V.C. and the Menno van Coehoorn Foundation under the auspices of IFC have joined forces to set up a project around the Wellington barrier. Partners in the project are also the Province of Namur, Efforts , and the Frënn vun der Festungsgeschicht Lëtzebuerg.
Until today, the importance of the Wellington barrier for the development of fortification and military engineering in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg has been underestimated.
The aim of the project is to develop a knowledge network that ultimately leads to an overall picture of how this imposing barrier works, its opening up and redevelopment.
About the Wellington barrier.
After the fall of Napoleon, at the initiative of the Great Powers, the construction and adaptations of a series of fortifications and fortresses along the northern border of France were ordered: the Wellington barrier, an impressive line of defense that can rightly be called a European cooperation.
The British and the Dutch together designed and built the reinforcements and had this partly financed with French money.
La Tour Carré Namur (all photo's by Hijlke Bakker)
As a start of the project, a first colloquium was organised on 25th April in the Citadel of Namur. Invited were associations, foundations, but also (local) historians and other stakeholders and interested parties to get acquainted with this project. More than 40 people attended.
The ambition is to identify which elements of the Wellington barrier are still visible, what history they have, what state they are in and what research questions are still open.
Marie-Françoise Degembe, Head of Cultural Heritage and Heritage Province of Namur welcomed the particpants.
After that an Introduction to the Wellington barrier project was made by Luc Olyslager - CEO Simon Stevin V.V.C., Dennis van Nieuwenhuijzen - Project Manager Wellington Barrier and Raf Deroo, EU liaison EFFORTS.
The cooperation between the International Fortress Council and Efforts, Raf de Roo, EFFORTS
The Wellington barrier: past, present and future, David Ross - Project Wellington
The Wellington barrier in the political and diplomatic context, Prof. Beatrice A. de Graaf Utrecht University.
Les derniers bastions? Theory de la fortification au début du XIX siècle, Prof. Philippe Bragard - Université Catholique de Louvain.
Innovation in fortress construction according to the polygonal system, Prof.ir. Piet Lombaerde - University of Antwerp.
Towards an intimate and complete military history of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, Jurrien de Jong - Netherlands Institute of Military History.
REPORT FROM IFC-PRESIDENT ANDRES KUPKA AT GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2018
28th Annual Meeting of the International Fortress Council in Italy
The 28th Annual Meeting of the International Fortress Council (IFC), the International Federation of Fortress Research Societies in Europe and the USA, took place from 11 to 14 October 2018 at the invitation of the "Associazione Forte di Bard" in the Italian Aosta Valley.
The Fort of Bard dominates on a rock the river valley of Dora Baltea above the small village of Bard. The current fortress was built on the orders of King Charles Albert of Sardinia-Piedmont between 1830 and 1838, after the predecessor building was demolished and completely demolished in 1800 on the orders of Emperor Napoleon I. In May 1800, after their passage across the Great Saint Bernard, the French troops needed two weeks before they could continue their march following the massive shelling by the 400 men of the Austrian crew of the fort. Napoleon finally led the attack personally and after the capitulation of the occupation on 1 June 1800 he ordered the demolition of the fort.
The conference participants against the backdrop of the Aosta Valley in Forte di Bard (Photo: Andreas Kupka)
With great financial commitment of the regional administration, the imposing plant was restored in accordance with the monument and opened to visitors in 2006. The fortress now houses various exhibitions and three museums, including the Museo delle Alpi / Musée des Alpes, which informs about the nature and history of the settlement of the Western Alps, and the fortification museum of the Fortification in the Cantiere Ferdinando, designed by Alain Monferrand, President of Association Vauban. A café and a hotel as well as meeting facilities round off the tourist offer, which attracts 500,000 visitors a year.
Thursday was again the general arrival day, when 15 participants from eight countries met for a casual, informal dinner and were warmly welcomed by the dedicated Forte di Bard team.
On Friday, the expert group visited the extensive fortress complex with the three museums in the morning. After a lunchtime snack, the 28th official working session of the IFC began in the Salle Olivero of the fortress Bard.
Dominant topics were the possible admission of new members such as Greece and Poland, with representatives of both countries contributing brief presentations. Malta is expected to join the IFC in 2019. Due to recent events, the founding of a corresponding Italian association has been widely discussed. The continuation of the IFC project "Multilingual Fortress Dictionary" (MFD), for which funds are now to be raised, was also on the agenda.
For dinner, at IFC meetings traditionally hosted by the hosting organisation, the Assosiazione di Barde invited IFC representatives to the Fort's restaurant "La Polveriera". Representatives of regional politics met there and the IFC was welcomed by the director of the Forte di Bard. M. C. Ronc.
On Saturday morning, the IFC group had the opportunity to visit the Castello Vallaise d'Arnad under the direction of the local monument conservator, a restored nobility seat with exceptionally rich wall and ceiling paintings.
(Photos: Pascal Bruchez)
One reason for inviting the IFC was the initiative of the energetic director of the "Associazione Forte di Bard". M. C. Ronc, who has asked the IFC for assistance in founding a national fortress research organisation in Italy. For this purpose, on Saturday afternoon, representatives of several Italian fortified towns, among others, from Verona, Alessendria, Venice, had gathered in the Forte di Bard for a first meeting, which also aroused the interest of the Italian television RAI 1. The IFC representatives gave their full support to this initiative, whose priorities had already been prepared in advance with the IFC, and will make their long-term experience and international contacts in the rescue and valorisation of historically important fortifications available to their Italian counterparts. First steps have already been taken. A close exchange between IFC and the Forte di Bard team was finally agreed by mutual agreement.
Finally, we would like to thank the organizers of the conference, especially Dr. M.C. Ronc and her team on behalf of the IFC for this successful and result-oriented event as well as the warm welcome. Particularly noteworthy is also the commitment of Alain Monferrand at the conclusion of this meeting.
The Board of the IFC hopes that this most welcome initiative will find fertile ground and soon host a national Italian Association of Fortress Researchers as a new, twelfth member of the IFC.
INTRODUCTION TO POLISH FORTIFICATIONS
by Igor Strzok, Fort de Bard, October 12th, 2018
In his over 1000 year long history as a state, Poland was on the border of Western and Eastern Europe, with all cultural and political consequences. In the matter of fortifications, in early Middle Age its natural resources have privileged earth-wooden constructions, which could not persist otherwise than in the form of archeological sites. Fist use of stones or bricks for castle construction has started in the 12th century, firstly in Silesia.
Teutonic Order implementation on Polish northern border, than in captured Polish Pomerania confronted the country with specific type of brick fortifications, the best example of which is Malbork.
Early artillery fortifications, developed in 16th century, were erected mainly on East-southern borders, facing Tartar and Ottoman threat, then more advanced, based on Italian style, started to be constructed to protect northern cities and aristocratic residences. 17th century was marked by spreading of old-Nederland school, as we can see till today in Gdansk and even in Smoleñsk, where the most advanced toward East "western-style" pentagonal citadel was constructed by king Vladislas IV Vasa.
Aerial view of Wisloujscie fortress in Gdansk
The surface of "Commonwealth of Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania", about 1 000 000 km2 at the beginning of 17th century has privileged the strategy of maneuver war and not static one, so expensive bastion fortresses were scattered and in case of wars often completed by large "camps retranches" for big, cavalry-dominated, armies. The crisis of the country in 18th century stopped the development of Polish fortifications, and, when culminated with partition between Russia, Austria and Prussia, brought to polish lands the constructions of occupants. Especially a big number of Frederic the Great fortresses, like Grudziadz or Srebrna Gora can still be seen. Napoleonic wars left behind new fortifications of Gdansk and, especially, Modlin, the biggest Napoleon's fortress in Europe, extended later by Russians. Still divided by occupants till First WW, Poland is retaining till now many Russian, German and Austrian fortresses, such as Grudziadz, Torun, Gizycko, Poznan, Nysa, Kozle, Krakow, Przemysl, Deblin, Warsaw, Osowiec.
The period of WW II is represented as well by Polish fortifications as by Soviet (erected on soviet-occupied half of Poland) and German (constructed mainly before the war). Last constructions - anti-atomic centers of command erected for Soviet Army in case of the attack against the West and the shelters for nuclear heads are now, partially, opened to the public. In Poland there are many groups, especially of young people, fascinated by fortifications, but a national-wide organization, TPF (Society of Friends of Fortifications), born at he end of 1980, does not exist any more.
ACTIVITIES REPORTS IFC-MEMBERS
COAST DEFENSE STUDY GROUP
This is from the joint CDSG and FSG tour to the Defenses of Switzerland that was hosted by ASMEM in August 2018. Three IFC associations working together to have a joint tour. Example of what the IFC members can do more of in the future.
UNITED KINGDOM (2016-2017)
[No recent report received, the Editor]
FORTRESS STUDY GROUP
Membership: Numbers have dropped slightly to about 530, but this is due in part to a more rigorous check on members in relation to our new web site. It is assessed that some of the lapsed members will re-join later. Nevertheless, there is an overall decline in membership numbers and a dearth of new younger members.
The annual MEMBERS DAY was held in London in 4th June 2016, when 25 members, some of whom made presentations on diverse subjects from the Defences of Gibraltar to early American Forts. It is believed putting back this meeting to June, rather than the usual April, may have impacted on the number attending.
Publications: FORT 44 (2015) the international journal of fortification has just been sent out to members.
The magazine of the group, Casemate, is published every four months. The September issue has just been delivered to members.
Guide booklets for the study tour of the Balearic Islands and the conference at Chichester/Portsmouth have also been published and distributed to interested parties.
The annual STUDY TOUR visited the Balearic Island of Mallorca and Menorca. Despite being split between the two Islands this tour was judged a great success thanks to assistance from the Spanish Military and local heritage organisations. The timing was ideal because the military are just handing over many of their old sites, and they are still very much as left by the Spanish Armed Forces. (Note: the initial plan for the Study Tour was to The Dolomites, but the organiser resigned. Hence the change of venue. A salutary reminder how dependent we are on volunteers.)
The FSG CONFERENCE and AGM was held at the University of Chichester between the 3rd and 5th of September when 43 members visited various fortifications and other military sites around Portsmouth.
In 2017 we will conduct a full Study Tour to Malta and a shorter tour will be made to Alderney, Channel Islands.
As with many organisations, the Fortress Study Group is adapting to the new digital era and advent of social media as a significant medium. Considerable effort have been made in the last year to increase the digital profile of the FSG.
FSG Website: The web site has been redesigned over the last few months and is still a work in process. The number of individual visitors per month to the FSG website increased to around 550 with 57% being new visitors. This is slightly up from the old web site which was usually about 450- per month. Analysis of the traffic reveals that 45% of the visits come from the US and 33% from the UK. Interest by the rest of Europe is minimal, with German and Spain having 1.48% of the traffic each.
FSG Facebook: The FSG now has an active Facebook Page and this now has in excess of 960 and a reach going above 3,000 people. This can be developed further.
Defence of Gibraltar: This is an active web site, intended to plot military installations in Gibraltar. There are now in excess of 630 items mapped on the web site and it is growing steadily. This site has about 260 visits a month, predominantly from the US and UK (90%) and marginal interest from the rest of Europe apart from Spain with 2.19%. Nevertheless, this is believed to be a worthwhile effort in the digital environment.
FSG Twitter: Not a major success but at least we are in the space. There are presently 171 Followers and we Follow 61. A total of 273 Tweets sent. Probably needs integrating with the web site at some stage.
The FSG has a public access Library, held at Fort Nelson, which has had no visits and only one request for access (which was thwarted due to a rival supplier of info being found). There is now a complete catalogue available on the website. The Library appears now to be a “memory pod” and unused. It’s value is very moot. Consideration is being given to handing over the collection to the Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson.
Gordon Fordyce Fortifications Grants Fund
Gordon Fordyce left a considerable amount of money with the FSG to be to support appropriate works. Some of this money he has specifically designated by distributed by the FSG to named organisation in France. We have sought the assistance of the Association Vauban in identifying and contacting these organisations.
As previously reported the FSG now makes awards to various bodies for their work in restoring and re-using fortifications in a sympathetic way. Awards have been made to various organisations including Cap Rocatt Hotel and Chapel Bay Fort. We are presently drawing up a more detailed criterion for awarding these plaques and any grants.
We are currently attempting to amend our constitution, primarily to bring it into line with current legislation – as we are a registered charity - which has changed over the last decade.
It would appear that there is now a shortage of volunteers to run the organisation at a national level and even less interest at a regional level. We are currently having problems finding a new Treasurer and many of the older volunteers are now withdrawing.FORTRESS STUDY GROUP – REPORT of ACTIVITIES 2014
The Activities of the CAMH in 2013 [No recent report received, the Editor]:
- 151 members, 150 from the Czech Republic and one from Germany. Continuous cooperation with several regional societies in the Czech Republic.
- Two gatherings - in May a visit to the light fortifications from the years 1937-1938 in Southern Bohemia and, in November a meeting in Prague.
- Three volumes of our Magazine: OIN.
- Three trips to: Alsace, Sicily and Denmark.
Prospects for 2014:
- Two gatherings – in May in Northern Bohemia visiting the heavy fortifications from the years 1937-1938, in November a meeting in Prague.
- Planned trips:
- June 2014: Menorca
- August 2014: Maginot Line in the Alps
- Expected publications: Artillery and Fortifications 1867-1918
Nacionalna Udruga za Fortifikacije N.U.F.
[No recent report received, the Editor]
In 2015 Nacionalna Udruga za Fortifikacije continued cooperation with various organizations and institutions as well local as international. On a local scale, NUF focused on raising awareness about importance of national heritage in Croatia among professional and as well as non-professional community members.
NUF was involved in organising various debates, open discussions and projections of documentary movies referring to the subject of fortifications in Croatia, cooperating with a local initiative and small cultural centre ‘Kutika’. Numerous events took place in the office in Zagreb:
- Debate “Pula - Fortification system, the main naval port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire”.
- Discussion about the appropriate care for the historical legacy of the war.
- Presentation of outcomes of volunteer actions of cleaning the fortifications in and around Pula organized by Mr. Zlatko Devedžić.
- Projections of various documentary movies about different fortifications in Croatia, accompanied by debates: “Unknown Pula” (“Nepoznata Pula“), „Cultural Landscape” ("Kulturni krajolik"), „Fortress in Slavonski Brod” ("Tvrđava u Slavonskom Brodu), „Slavonski Brod – Fortress” ("Slavonski Brod – Tvrđava")
NUF organized and participated in a professional study trip in Topusko fortified monastery remains of ramparts.
Besides local activities, NUF representatives attended study trip in Komarno, Slovakia and an international conference in Hungary which took place on 26 - 27th October, 2015.
Stjepan Lončarić , N.U.F., president
STICHTING MENNO VAN COEHOORN
( 1-10-2017 / 30-9-2018)
Number of members: 1015
Saillant (quarterly, format A-5, 45 pages)
2 excursions for active members
3 excursions for all members
1 National meeting for all fortification- organisations in the Netherlands
These excursions went to Doesburg and Zutphen (including WW II history), AtlanticWall Scheldt (Walcheren-Flushing) and the Amsterdam reduit (Stelling van Amsterdam), Fort bij Uithoorn, Fort aan de Drecht and Fort bij De Kwakel.
The national meeting was organised in the Maastricht fortifications.
Preparations for the nomination of the Roman defence line along the Rhine river, the Limes Netherlands as UNESCO World Heritage. Nomination of the New Dutch Waterline, related to the Stelling van Amsterdam.
The 2018 Open Bunkerday (Atlantic Wall) was held in June in the Netherlands, Belgium and France.
The Statutes were changed and now make Menno van Coehoorn active in the preservation of all fortifications, including those still used by the armed forces, and all Cold War relics.
Together with Belgian Simon Stevin a working Group has been installed to start study of the Dutch barrier.
With the Paris-Treaty of 13th August, 1814 the United Kingdom an the Netherlands took on them the obligation to establish and maintain along the southern border of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands several fortifications a barrier (in English, the Dutch Barrier, in Dutch, the Wellingtonbarrière)
- The idea of this barrier was based on the barrier-principles of the 18th century
- The barrier was from 1815 on developed by Dutch engineers
- Fortifications in Gent (Citadel), Dendermonde, Liège (Citadel), Hoey (Fortress), Charleroi, Mons (Hainaut) and Dinant (Fortress) were completely renewed, and Ostend, Nieuwpoort, Ypres, Menen, Doornik, Oudenaarde, Antwerp, Philippeville, Mariënberg, Bouillon, Namur, Ath and Luxembourg were radically changed or restored;
www.coehoorn.nl, including the Multilingual Fortification Dictionary, and a national database on fortifications. All books and documents can be found via the website; most of this material has been scanned and is available at low resolution.
(1st October 2017 – 30th September 2018)
President Alain MONFERRAND
Number of members: 154
- Oisivetés: “ La Lettre des Oisivetés” Journal of the Society (2 éditions per year in may and december), Nr 34 December 2017 and Nr 35 may 2018 ,
- Quarterly Newsletter « l’Escarpe » dedicated to regional events
- Dossier for the annual congress in CAMBO LES BAINS
- Dossier for the study tour in POLAND.
PUBLICATIONS IN PROGRESS:
Salin (Patrick) work on a compilation of the Frenches fortifications in Northern America (Canada and USA). This book must be published in Canada and France. Association Vauban help Patrick Salin to find a French editor.
Finalization of the translation Italian to French with the support of A.V. for the book of Franco Carminati (delegate of AV for the Italy) about the Pinerolo Fortress. Publication of the book in the next weeks.
MARCH 23 th – VAUBAN MEMORIAL DAY.
This annual ceremony was held at the Royal Chapel of the Dome des Invalides in Paris, Alain MONFERRAND presiding. Among the persons present were Lieutenant General Bernard Fontan Head executive engineer of French Military Infrastructures, Lieutenant-General VITRY Association VAUBAN Vice-President, Army General Christophe de Saint Chamas, Governor of the Invalides, the Army Corp General Bernard Fontan, General Director of Defense Infra Service, “administrative” heir of Marechal Vauban, which help always our action and the Major General Dominique Cambournac, Army Heritage delegate which come fort this memorial day fort he first time, several of Marshal de Vauban’s family members, the board of the Association VAUBAN, the Fellow members of military engineers for infrastructures (IMI) and numerous visitors of the Royal Chapel.
MAY–ANNUAL CONGRESS- DEFENCE ZONES OF CAMBO LES BAINS AND WEST PYRENEES MOUNTAINS (South West France) from 10 to 28th of may
The land forts of French Border :
Saint Jean Pied de Port (UNESCO site) Citadel and City Wall,
Navarrenx Place and The Portalet Fort, Oloron Sainte Marie Place
City of Bayonne (reception by Sophie Castel, deputy Mayor for the urban patrimonial), visit of the Citadel (as the base of the 1st RPIMA)
The Spanishes Fortifications :
St Bartolomé Fort (Pampelune), Citadel and Labrit Bastion, Hondarribia (Fortifications and City Wall), Guadalupa Fort
CONFERENCE MAIN ITEMS:
Conference at the Arnaga Orangery (Rostand Property).
- The Bayonne Fortifications fron Lapurdum (antik place) tot he Vauban Defences by Olivier Ribeton, Chief Curator of the Basque Museum of Bayonne.
-The end of the Kingdom of Navare until the construction of the Navarrenx Place by Alvaro Adot, Dr Pf of History at Pampelune University
- Pre-Vauban military engineers in Europe by Huagues Paucot Ds of Sc from Bruxelles University
- The story of Portalet Fort et the Restauration of the place by Bernard Choy, Mayor of Aydius (Commons Commauty of Haut Béarn) and Estelle Salvayre Sports Direction of the Haute Pyrenées Department.
SEPTEMBER – ANNUAL STUDY TOUR IN POLAND (NORTHERN POLAND)
13-15 of September :
Gdansk (Old City, II WW Museum, Hagelsberg Fort, site of the Dantzig Battle (1807), Bishofsberg Fort Wiloujscie (Fort Weichelmund), Gdansk Arsenal
Torun (Citadel and Fortifications, Fort IV, Fort I et II
Modlin (Frenches fortifications and Russian Forts, Polish fortifications before the WW II)
During the visit of the site of the Dantzig Battle of 1807, a military commemoration was organized at the Gdansk French Cemetery with the participation of the Polish army, the French Army Corp Général Bernard Fontan, director of Defence Infra Service, Lt Col Alain Petitjean, Chargé de mission to the general Commander of the School of Engineering of Angers and Lt Col, Philippe de Laborie, Curator of the Angers Military Engineering Museum and Martin Barros, Director of the Military Historical Librairy of the Defence Ministry. A l’issue de cette cérémonie, le Général Bernard Fontan, Alain Monferrand, AV President and the members of the group study meet Mrs Anders, the Polish Minister of Veterans Affairs (She is the daughter fof the General Wladislaw Anders, Cdt in Chief of the Polish Army in England during the WW II) and the Prefect of Pomeranian Region (the Ministry was in Gdansk In Gdansk for a commemorative ceremony dedicated to a resistant nurse shot in 1946 by the Russians)
- www. association-vauban.org
The website will continue to make the name and activities of the Association Vauban known. We work during the summer to renewal the navigation on the site and develop some projects
NEXT YEAR -2019 ELABORATION:
March : Vauban Memorial Day,
May : Annual Congress at Strasbourg
September : Annual study Tour (localisation not determined)
No date for the project : a conference by Patrick Salin and other specialists about the Frenches Fortifications in Northern America.
VOLUNTEER MILITARY SERVICE
The Association Vauban still works with the Military authorities to help the definition of works to renewal some part of fortified sites by the volunteers of Military service. A great operation was engaged with the Base of Montigny les Metz to work at the Bitche Citadel to clean the wall and access ways. Our colleague, Philippe Leichtnam coordonate the operation with the Army and the municipality. The VMS works also at St Martin de Ré and it’s some projects about the Trous d’Enfer Fort (Paris Région) with our colleague Michel Truttmann
CONSERVATOIRE DU LITTORAL (COASTAL CONSERVATORY)
The Association Vauban help the Conservatory to explain for the local communities and the visitors the strategic importance of coastal fortified places property of the institution (definition and realization for the signalization, informations or posters on the sites).The next actions are in the Graillon Tour in Antibes
PUBLICATIONS AND AUDIT
-The A.V. and our Vice president, Jean François Gabilla, works also with Alain Chazette, for a research of the submarine base Martha in Marseille during the last war (for Histoire et Fortifications Editor)
-Report to the East Fort of St Denis for the 3F Corp by Col. Ortholan
-Report to the Mayor of Julich about the future of the Citadel and the Bridge Head by MM Alain Monferrand and Marc Gayda
-Preparation with the Mayor of Cannes for the Candidature of Cannes and the Lérins Islands for World Heritage Registration (UNESCO)
VAUBAN NETWORK SOCIETY:
The Association Vauban keeps collaborating with[MPf1] RESEAU VAUBAN particularly regarding the new Vauban sites submitted to the UNESCO to complete the Vauban Network of 2007 (Lille, Le Quesnoy, Brisach).
The Association Vauban work also with the IFC Board (welcome of the Board Meeting of Februar 15th and on proposition of the A.V. President, M. Alain Monferrand, work to organize in relation of the IFC Team the IFC Congress in Italy at Bard (Bard fortress in Aoste Valley) with the perspective to join Italian association to the IFC).
Association Saint-Maurice d’Etudes Militaires (ASMEM)
[No recent report received, the Editor]
Membership 317 Members
New edition of:
Julius Rebold – “Histoire de la construction des ouvrages fortifiés fédéraux -
Baugeschichte der Eidgenössische Befestungswerke - 1831-1860 & 1885-
- Study Tour Austria & Slovenia - 15 to 19 September 2016
- Forecast 2017 France – Soissons
- Sargans & St. Gothard – 11 to 12 June 2016
- Grand-Saint-Bernard & Fort de Bard - with Salons Dufour / Geneva – 23 to 24 July 2016
- Forecast 2017 France - Besançon
M. Lovisa / 29.9.2016
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Festungsforschung
Oktober 1, 2017 – September 30, 2018
Number of members: 225 (2017: 228)
PUBLICATIONS: (see www.festungsforschung.de/publikationen) (Books, magazines, etc.)
Two issues “Festungsjournal”, Nr. 52, 53.
Nr. 52 Festung Grauerort
One volume “Schriftenreihe Festungsforschung:
Die Residenzstadt Wien an der Donau: Die Geschichte der Stadtbefestigung am Beispiel der Neutorbastion (Festungsforschung, Band 10) (49,95 €)
Two volumes „Deutsche Festungen“
- Band IV - 2018 - Festungen in Thüringen (16,95 €)
- Band V - 2018 - Festungen in Rheinland-Pfalz und im Saarland (16,95 €)
27th IFC General Assembly 2017 in Jülich (Invitation by Deutsche Gesellschaft
37th DGF Annual Meeting in Magdeburg took place in Magdeburg from 23th to 25th September 2018. The subject: “Artillery in fortresses and siege artillery”.
The 38th DGF Annual Meeting will take place in Esslingen from 13th to 15th September 2019 in Esslingen. Subject: “Early Fortifications in south-west Germany 1450-1620”.
(Conservation, restoration, government ownership, privatisation, vision on the future of monuments)
Erfurt, Zitadelle Peterberg, event in 2019, counselling
Ingolstadt, Bundesfestung, archaeological works, counselling
Blog: Fortifica - Deutsche Festungsforschung
Report before restauration works in Jülich, Brückenkopf for 2019.
BELGIUM SIMON STEVIN V.V.C.
Activity Report 2015
1.1 Official meetings
General Assembly: 29-05-2015
Direction committee : 10 meetings: 13/01, 10/02, 10/03, 14/04, 12/05, 09/06, 08/09, 13/10,
An impressive correspondent- and members reunion will be organised in 2017
Member Assembly meeting International Fortress Council (IFC)16 October 2015.
Simon Stevin V.V.C. is host and organises the event including a exclusive study visit to the
Fort of Haasdonk, Fort 5 and the German WW 2 bunker park Den Brandt.
Participation to the vtbKultuur General Assemblies 21/03/2015, 12/09/2015 en 5/12/2015.
Participation to Herita General Assemblies 26/03/2015 en 17/12/2015.
Meetings, congresses and preparations:
Various meetings in Raversyde: preparations Simon Stevin Fortress Day 2015
07/05/2015: work meeting with ADAK related to a bunker parc near the bridge over the canal
Dessel-Schoten in Turnhout.
21/11/2015: 50 years of ICOMOS Brussels : participation to the meeting.
24-01-15: KW-Bunker Mechelen (Coveniersgilde): visit and reconnaissance
24-01-15: Site Polder Hoboken. Reconnaissance brick / concrete structures next to old
18 and 19-07-15, Reconnaissance Fort Leveaux, Ayvelles, citadel Montmedy & Ouvrage La
26-07-15: Reconnaissance Bunker line Steendorp - Temse part 1
30-07-15: Reconnaissance bunker line Steendorp - Temse part 2
10-09-15, Reconnaissance Fort Haasdonk
19-08-15: Reconnaissance To main resistance line of the Spanish Civil War in Palamos.
12-08-15: Reconnaissance 5 days Atlantikwall Somme/Normandy.
22-08-2015 : Reconnaissance Fort Haasdonk.
05-09-15: Reconnaissance Maginot fort Schoenenbourg and Cas Esch
11-10-15: Reconnaissance Fort Vechten (NL)
21-10-15, 3-days voyage with Prof. Luc De Vos and Franky Bostyn areas Arras and the
18-12-2015: Recognising route Hans-Rudolf Neumann: Fort Saint Marie, Fort Liefkenshoek,
Fort Lillo, Redoute Smoutakker and Antwerp Safety belt.
2. Public activities
2.1 Presentations and congresses
17-05-15: Fortress Belt Antwerp participation with info stands in Fort 2 Wommelgem and Fort
5 Edegem. Overall organisation of a public searching game.
21-08-15: Interview with George Melis about the conservation and protection of the
fortifications at the Costa Brava Spain. Publication in the magazine “Gavarres
17-09-15: Presentation by Frank Philippart about the Atlantikwall in Oostende.
29-09-15: Presentation of the book about the Citadel of Zoutleew 1937-1940 by
correspondent Roger Moria.
03-10-15: Simon Stevin info stand with publications and information at the Open Door Day
10-10-15: Participation of Simon Stevin V.V.C. at the audit session of Tourism Province
Simon Stevin V.V.C. Annual Report 2015 pag. 2
2.2 Guided visits
20-06-15: Exclusive presentation and visit at Fort Duffel.
16-10-15: Simon Stevin facilitates IFC visit to Fort Haasdonk, Fort 5 Edegem and WW2
German bunker park Den Brandt.
Simon Stevin V.V.C. focus on 4 projects :
Fortress belt Antwerp in cooperation with Province of Antwerp.
Fortress Day 2015 in Raveryse – Ostend
Organisation and hosting IFC Antwerp Assembly 2015
Project “Discover Antwerp Fortified – Tourism Flanders.
2.4. Province Antwerp Fortress Belt 17 May 2015:
Simon Stevin V.V.C. Simon Stevin V.V.C. info stand in Fort 2 Wommelgem and Fort 5
Edegem. Overall organisation of a public searching game.
2.5. Fortendag 2015 op 27 September 2015
Fortendag 2015 took place in Raversyde Ostend.
Participants were very positive about the reception and organisation of the Fortress Day.
2.6. Fortification Day in Fort 8 – 8/11/2015
Promotion via the Simon Stevin V.V.C. promotion channels + participation with extended info
2.7. Preparation pilot project H.R.Neumann 9-16/04/2015
Dr.-Ing. Hans-Rudolf Neumann organises theme-related excursions on fortified heritage
worldwide. The Flemish fortifications (from Coast to Antwerp) will be visited. The program is
prepared and supported by Simon Stevin in close cooperation with Dr.-Ing.Hans-Rudolf
2.8. Digital unlocking of the Simon Stevin archive.
A complete approach and planning is put in place by Lydia Keurvels, archive coordinator of
Simon Stevin V.V.C.
2.9. Simon Stevin Magazine Vesting
Is completely renewed and published in full colour. The magazine is a powerful medium to
bound members and recruit new members and supporters.
2.10. Cooperation with Her
Herita is the Flemish umbrella heritage organisation. Our cooperation includes the
participation in the General Assembly and providing tangible member advantages related to
the public unlocking of fortified structures.
3. Conservation and Protection
3.1. Bredene R505:
Simon Stevin V.V.C.formulated concrete measures based on a former conservation file that
was presented earlier
3.2. Strobrugge (Leopoldskanaal/EDE):
The owner of a terrain, including a large representative troup bunker of the Holland Stellung
has the intention to build a home on it.
The bunker is protected. Based on Simon Stevin V.V.C. recommendations, the owner
includes the bunker in his construction plans and will stay accessible on demand.
3.3. Bunkers of the canal Bochelt-Herentals:
Simon Stevin V.V.C. Annual Report 2015 pag. 3
On the Canal Bochelt-Herentals, 3 Interbellum Bunkers ( 1F 2BF and 2DF) are involved in the
reconstruction of the canal. This bunkers had an historical role in the fights 19144.
Therefore the bunkers should be remained. The city wants to take the necessary measures.
A conservation file for the bunkers was formulated by Simon Stevin V.V.C.
3.4. Liesewege, tobrouks Atlantik Wall :
De SiSt werd door TUCRAIL aangesproken een begroting te maken en deze bunkers volledig
3.5. Kanaalbunkers Dessel-Schoten
Simon Stevin participated at the ADAK (Archeology Service of Antwerp Kempen) to discuss
the information infrastructure of the bunker site at the bicycle bridge over the canal Dessel-
This includes the protection of the bunkers, the culture-touristic unlocking of the site and a
official moment related to 100 years Bunkerlinie (2017).
3.6. KW-bunker: De 'Mechelse Colveniersgilde':
This bunker in authentic shape was intensively inventorised by Simon Stevin V.V.C. A
proposition for further unlocking the bunker with visitor information was presented to the
4.1 Vesting – the Simon Stevin members magazine
2015/01: 20 pages
2015/02: 20 pages
2015//03: 20 pages
2015/04: 20 pages
4.2 Vesting Flash (free online newsletter )
VestingFlash 2015 : 3 editions (03/05, 23/08, 21/10)
4.3 WMF-Newsletter (online newsletter for members - Workgroup Modern
WMF-news n°2015-01 (13 pages
WMF-news n°2015-02 (7 pages
4.4 Other publications.
The Defence of Costa Brava Central during the Spanish Civil War. – George Melis.
Touristic guide Temse – documented Bunker walk from fort Steendorp to Fort Haasdonk
including plan, information and GPS download.
5. Acquisitions Documentation Center
8 articles, 17 books, 1 DVD, 4 flyers, 24 magazines.
The personal archive of former president Robert Gils was added to the Simon Stevin V.V.C.
Thanks for this report to Manu Leysen, member of the Simon Stevin V.V.C. direction
Chairman Simon Stevin V.V.C.
Österreichische Gesellschaft für Festungsforschung